Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Google Me

I did, just for fun... and I found a poem I wrote back in 2001, just two days after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. It's kinda crazy... it's a poem I wrote to friends and family, and sent over an email. At the time, I was a freshman in college, far away for the first time from family and friends, and only on my 13th day in a place I was still growing accustomed to. I was very scared, but that was not something I displayed to my loved ones. It's still a guilty habit of mine: to always have to be the strong one, to never lose composure in front of others, to push everyone forward past the pain of life.

Anyhow, a couple days after I sent the email, I received it back from a completely different friend, who had received it from someone else. I checked the progress it had made, and realized that everyone had passed it on, like a chain letter that was being shared around the world. It was weird! I got it back a few more times after that. I didn't remember ever putting my name to the poem, either, but somehow I was given credit for it. Now it's published on a random poetry site, and it's received nearly 50,000 hits! I can't believe it, I've never even heard of this site! And it says it wasn't copywrited until 2005, 4 years after I originally wrote it.

In case you're interested in the poem, and don't want to bother googling me (but why wouldn't you?!), here's the poem. Please don't laugh too hard:

Love Is Living

This is for my friends everywhere
Who may now find themselves in the midst of despair
Because of the shameful acts of hate
That destroyed so much within the last two days.
Brother, sister, neighbor, friend,
Let us all remember when
"Love one another" said Jesus Christ
Including those that we despise.
Our enemies need our love the most
For it is hate that they do host.
So if you can find it in your heart,
Please forgive our counterparts.
Not all Palestinians act that way,
Only the radicals that on TV were displayed.
Please, instead, focus your energy
To the positive rebounding of our beloved country.
I ask that you join in the thousands that mourn
In prayer for the thousands in pain and scorn.
Help to find some kind of relief
In the midst of all these sad happenings.
That God will bless the ones who keep
On the search for people buried under the rubble deep.
And that families of the victims find
Some justice in their own due time.
I do pray for all of you within my reach
That you're faith in God you all do keep.
For it's our duty as surviving saints
To remember the tragedy of last Tuesday
So we can all better defend
Against the evil that will come again.
This time, we'll be prepared to fight
The hate with all our loving might.
For the truth is: the true battle's between love and hate
I pray that love will dominate.
Please pass this on to whom you feel
May need some love, may need to heal.
For it is with love this to you is given;
Please share this love, for love is living.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Especially For This Youth

Last Sunday, I was blessed with the opportunity to take part in a musical number for a friend's sacrament meeting in a neighboring stake. Two of my friends, my brother, and I performed "Prayer of the Children," and it went very well, especially considering we only practiced together 4 times. In our own stake, we were having Stake Conference, so I didn't feel too bad about skipping out on my weekly duties in my home ward.

Just after I finished dinner that evening, though, my bishop called to let me know he missed me at church today. He wondered why he didn't see me or my brother, and joked about us playing hookey. Then he asked me if I was planning on attending our ward's St. Patty's Party this weekend. "It's on Saturday evening, Brother Esera; I made sure they planned it that way just for you," he told me. We talked for a little while longer, I promised I'd be there, and then he spoke to my brother about the activity as well.

I know this may not sound like a big deal, but you have to know my bishop, and some background:

In my single's ward, we have had AMAZING bishoprics over the last 10 years. When I first came into contact with this ward almost 8 years ago, Bishop Wolvers served us. He is a brilliant man - affluent in music, great with people, and a life-long counselor to high school and college aged young adults. I joined the ward during my term of disfellowshipment because of the wonderful things I heard about him from 2 other mohos. I credit much of my spiritual growth to his patient ear, his honest tongue, his sturdy shoulders, and his loving heart. He was succeeded by Bishop Washer, a retired Naval officer with the most pleasant demeanor and genuine spirit. He is also a people-person, and a long time friend to my family.

When Bishop Anderson was called to our ward, I knew nothing about him - I'd never met him, and had heard about him. My early impressions of him were not the same as the past two bishops: Bishop Anderson is not quite as social as the men who preceeded him, and was not as easy-going. He came off as more conservative, more stiff, less understanding, and less approachable. I was unsure as to how comfortable I would feel coming to him with my personal issues, especially when it came to SSA. I was afraid he was just too different from the last two bishops.

The real trouble came when my friends and my brother started relaying the same concerns. "I know what you guys mean," I'd say, "but there has to be a reason why he was called to our ward at this time. He's going to learn to be better for us, and we're going to learn to love and appreciate him. Somehow, Bishop Anderson is going to be good for us." Inside, I told myself that I had to learn this for myself, and be sure if anyone was going to believe me.

I remember praying for help before the first time I went to see Bishop Anderson. I prayed that I would be open to accepting him as my bishop, and that we would both be guided by the Spirit during our meeting so it would be effective for us. I remember specifically asking the Lord to show me that the Bishop loved me so I could trust him and his divinely-inspired counsel.

Our interview went much better than expected! Though the Bishop was still a little stiff, he took my confession very well, and didn't freak out in the slightest when I described to him the issues I was having with SSA. He was very matter-of-factly, and I appreciated his honest and direct candor. I was set up to have an interview with the Stake President, and I prayed for a similar experience. That went well, too. I went back to my ward that Sunday, and felt great!

The undoubtable answer to my prayer came soon after. I remember Bishop Anderson randomly coming up to me one day, and wrapping his arm around my shoulder as he asked about how I was doing. Bishop Anderson is NOT a touchy-feely kind of guy! I knew nothing short of a miracle could get him to spontaneously and willingly do that, especially with me! I thanked God for showing me that my bishop loved and cared for me.

Since then, my bishop has shown me time and time again that he loves not only me, but my peers in the ward. He has lightened up SO MUCH, and has earned the respect and adoration of the ward in the same right that our previous bishops did. Even my best friend and my brother, who were very skeptical in the beginning, have grown to love him. I am so proud of my bishop! And I'm so glad that the Lord has blessed me with the fulfillment of my hope.

When Bishop Anderson told me he made sure that this weekend's activity took place on Saturday just for me, I was very touched. He knows that my work schedule prohibits me from being there on Friday evenings, and he knows how prone our activity's committee is to planning events on Fridays versus Saturday nights. It showed me that he really wanted me to be involved, and I felt special that he would take the time to do something like that just for me. If you're reading this, Bishop, thanks so much! And I love you too!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Alphabet

Anal-retentive: only about certain things. Like my dishes; it takes me FOREVER to wash them because I make sure I go over every inch of the dish with my sponge 2 or 3 times to clean it. Then I rinse it well, look at it again, and if I catch a hint of a blemish, I wash it again.

Brown: a year round tan is nice to have (thanks Mom and Dad!).

Cute: ask anybody! I'm adorable!

Dance-Floor Diva: I LOVE to dance! Which is cool, because I teach ballroom dancing for a living. Getting up, moving to the music, sweating out the toxins, it's the best way to get exercise and enjoy yourself!

Even-Keel: it takes a lot to make me angry. I'm pretty collected most of the time. But when I get set off, it ain't pretty...

Forgetful: I was going to tell you more about this, but I can't seem to remember what I was going to say...

Genuine: like... Miller Draft? I don't know, I was just trying to stay away from the obvious "G".

Helpful: friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent - Scout's honor!

Intuitive: I like to think that's why some people think I'm like a woman.

Jovial: Here's the definition from dictionary.com - (adj.) endowed with or characterized by a hearty, joyous humor or a spirit of good-fellowship; merry, jolly, convivial, gay, joyful, mirthful

Kid: A really big, balding, 25 year old one, with a big head and a little ADHD. Ooh, something shiny...

Loving: Almost to a fault. It's pathetic and wonderful all at the same time :):

Masochistic: Why else do I continue to go to a single's ward? :P

Naive: Or so people think...

Original: I'm like Spam - there's nothing quite like me. Thank goodness.

Perfect: I'm pretty much the modern, Samoan male version of Mary Poppins. I even have the umbrella to prove it!

Quick: I know, I know - that's what she said!! Hahaha

Random: Oh my gosh, today at the mall, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in years! He's black. I met him on my way to Mrs. Field's cookies. I got 4 cookies for the price of 3! And they all had chocolate, just like my friend! I love chocolate!

Single: If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it~

Thankful: Wow, thank you everybody! This award means so much to me. First off, I have to thank God. If it weren't for Him, I'd still be singing songs in the bathroom with a hair brush as my mic. I also have to give it up for my Mama and my Daddy, my sisters and my brother...

Untouched: I go ooh ooh, you go ahh ahh, la la la la, la la la la... ( I feel so untouched right now)

Vindicated: I promise I'm done with the song references! I'm vindicated from many things, especially from my own self.

Wonderful: I'm full of other things too, wonder's the only one that starts with a "w" though.

Xtra Clever: Ha! Bet you've been wondering what I'd do when we got to this part! Well guess what?! Whatever, I do what I want!

Young: But not naive. Which I guess negates my "n". So my new "n" shall be "Non-naive".

Zealous: Not just because it starts with a "z," but because I am! Especially when it comes to my music, I write new songs all the time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Have So Much To Say....

...but it overwhelms me to the point that I am rendered speechless. Like that feeling after you've gone so long without food that you've gotten to the point that you are no longer hungry. Which only happens to me on Fast Sundays when I actually choose to fast...

But I will be back with more words soon...